People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 47

November 25, 2012




People won’t Tolerate Any Foul Game: Bijan Dhar


Haripada Das


SHARPLY reacting to the threat posed to the democratic system by the Tripura state Congress president, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar has said it was an expression of rage, panic and frustration the Congress has suffered on its alienation even from its own people. Dhar appealed to the people of Tripura not to ignore such perversions of the Congress leaders and frustrate all their threats and conspiracies against democratic norms through mass protest and mobilisation.


Bijan Dhar was addressing the media at the CPI(M) state committee office on November 10, to express the party’s concern over state Congress president Sudip Roy Barman’s perverted utterances the day before.


It is to be noted that at a rally of the OBC people at Agartala on November 9, Sudip Roy Barman had said, “We shall not allow the 7th Left Front government to be formed. A seventh Left Front government will not be formed in the state. To ensure that, all measures that are required, shall be taken.”




Dhar said such an open threat to the democracy could not be ignored as it was delivered by a state president of a national party which is at the helm of the central government. Scathingly condemning Roy Barman’s speech, Bijan Dhar asserted it was the display of the Congress party’s out-and-out distrust of the masses and an expression of the conspiratorial desire to invalidate the ongoing process for preparation of the next assembly elections. For long, Bijan Dhar added, the CPI(M) has been complaining about the machinations being hatched by the Congress to reactivate the NLFT extremists in order to use them in its favour.


Dwelling on the nexus between the Congress and the NLFT, Bijan Dhar referred to the arrest of Dhanu Kalai and his associates, with 25 lakh cash meant for the NLFT, and his subsequent confession about the involvement of a tribal Congress leader behind in the collection and dispatch of this money to the NLFT headquarters. Dhar then added that since then some more incidents have come to the light to indisputably prove that a desperate Congress still maintains close contacts with this outlawed outfit. On November 9 last, on the basis of a tip-off, the Subroom police arrested one Lebrachai Mog, a local Congress leader, after he came back from Bangladesh. He entered Tripura at the dead of night after having crossed the river Feni which is the dividing line between the two countries in that area. Reportedly, he had gone to Bangladesh seven or eight days ago and had had secret parleys with NLFT leaders at various spots in Khagrachhari district of Bangladesh. Though Mog has had criminal antecedents, local Congress leaders did not hesitate to immediately plunge into the matter in order to get him free, claiming that the detained was their party worker.


Regarding the Left Front government’s inability to introduce reservations for the OBC people, Bijan Dhar said everybody in the state is aware of the fact that the central government alone is responsible for this failure. In Tripura, there is already 48 per cent reservation at present --- 27 per cent for the STs, 17 per cent for the SCs, two per cent for the wards of ex-servicemen and the two per cent for the handicapped. As the OBC people account for 24 per cent of the total population in Tripura, providing reservation to the OBC people would go to violate the Supreme Court’s directive that bars any reservation beyond 50 per cent. It is evident that an act of parliament is required to invalidate the Supreme Court’s directive. On its part, the Tripura Legislative Assembly has already passed a unanimous proposal, urging the centre to enact an act at least for Tripura, permitting reservation beyond 50 per cent. The Congress party in the state assembly too was a party to this resolution. But the central government has till now not taken any step in this regard. The responsibility for introduction of reservation for the OBC people in Tripura lies solely on the central government. But, out of its political bankruptcy, the Congress in the state is crying hoarse in order to mislead the OBC people and incite them against the Left Front. However, Dhar also expressed confidence that the OBC people would certainly understand the Left Front’s compulsion, adding that if the Supreme Court verdict is quashed in case of the state of Tripura, the state government would think about inclusion of some Muslims of lower strata in the OBC category.   




Regarding Sudip Roy Barman’s anti-democratic stance, Bijan Dhar stated that Barman had valid reasons to get frustrated. Along with some of his family members, Sudip Roy Barman has been indicted in a case lodged by one Colonel B V Yadav of the Indian Army. The FIR said Yadav was mercilessly beaten up and kept in captivity, and his purse and mobile phone were snatched off inside Barman’s residence. As in the past, this time too the Congress leaders have plans to utilise extremists against the Left Front during the elections. But the Congress-NLFT nexus has been totally exposed --- much before the elections. In the meantime, Barman’s shrewd but successful manoeuvre with the central government’s HRD Ministry in Delhi to get the state government’s drive for recruitment of about 5000 school teachers stopped has also come to light. This has created severe discontent among the youth of the state against the Congress.


In his letter to the then HRD minister Kapil Sibbal dated May 30, 2012, state Congress president Sudip Roy Barman suggested not to relax the binding of TET examination for recruitment of teachers in Primary Education department, because, the letter says “If any relaxation is given now it would directly help the CPI(M) party in the coming elections. In fact the ministers of Tripura are going to Delhi on the June 5, 2012 to press for this demand.” It is pertinent to mention here that the Left Front government had made an attempt to recruit about 5000 school teachers in primary education department in 2006 and the whole process --- inviting applications, processing the same, interviewing a huge number of candidates, preparing the merit list etc --- were duly completed. Just a few days before the offer of appoint could be issued to the selected candidates, the central government citing the new education policy to object to the recruitment without the candidates taking the TET (Teachers Eligibility Test) examination. The government of Tripura was pressing for relaxation of these criteria, since the drive for recruitment was made much before the introduction of the new education policy and because of a serious shortage of teachers in the primary schools of the state. But by now it is crystal clear that the central government’s rigid stand on the issue of relaxing the TET criteria is a totally political stand, in response to the letter of the state Congress president.    




In another development, one, Army Colonel B V Yadav lodged an FIR with the West Agartala police station indicting Samir Ranjan Barman, a former chief minister, and his two sons including the state Congress president Sudip Roy Barman on October 13, 2012. it has been learnt that not satisfied with the Tata-Photon internet service, Col Yadav went to the supplier for termination of the connection with usual payment. (The service provider was the son of the former chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman and elder brother of state Congress president Sudip Roy Barman.) What happened thereafter can be understood from the FIR lodged by the colonel. The FIR says:


While the argument was on the sales girl went out and called the owner of the franchise Mr Sandeep Barman who tried to settle the matter by bullying me along with four other goons and a scuffle took place. Since he was the son of a former CM of Agartala, Mr Samir Ranjan Barman, and the shop was part of their official and residential complex many other people who were their political supporters joined them. I was forcibly dragged into their residential complex and taken inside the room where I was beaten up badly. I was wrongfully confined for almost one and a half hour; my purse and my mobile were snatched away from me. My repeated request to return my mobile phone back so that I could contact my Sector HQ to seek some assistance fell on deaf ears. Mr Sandeep Barman, along with about 15-20 supporters, kept beating me even in the presence of the former chief minister Mr Samir Ranjan Barman who did not intervene even when requested by me. The platoon of CRPF stationed at the former CM’s residence also did not do anything to stop the goons; rather some of the jawans were part of the hooligans. Due to the injuries sustained and hostile environment, I was in a semi-conscious state and shaken up…… Due to the hostile and violent mob instigated by Sudip Roy Barman I was threatened and was subjugated forcibly by Mr Sudip Roy Barman to seek forgiveness from his brother Mr Sandip Barman. For the fear of life I apologised and somehow able to extricate myself from their clutches.


“As I was under shock due to physical injuries and immense mental stress and strain due to the hostile crowd and continuous intimidation, I under extreme duress was forced to compromise and give a letter of apology to Mr Sudip Roy Barman.” 


The audio-visual clippings depicting the Roy Barman brothers manhandling and beating the colonel were uploaded on the YouTube website and has been viewed by many people. The government has asked the CID to investigate the case.


Regarding the boycott of the chief minister, called for by the Congress against his so called indecent(!) remark about the prime minister in his speech at the scheduled castes rally on November 4, CPI(M) state secretariat member Gautam Das said the Tripura chief minister never crosses the line of decency nor he makes any individual attacks. The boycott call of the Congress would ultimately make the latter boycotted by the people, Das quipped.